Reflection – Week 7 – Reflection on unit of learning

As my own reflective practitioner, reflecting can be a little unnerving as it forces you to look closely at your own teaching practice. Reflection is probably the most important thing a teacher can do in order to keep improving as a teacher. Moon (2006) suggests that “Reflection is a form of mental processing. It is applied to relatively complicated or unstructured ideas for which there is not an obvious solution and is largely based on the further processing of knowledge and understanding and possibly emotions that we already possess.”

The leading theoretical origins of reflection have originated from pioneers such as John Dewey, David Kolb, and Donald Schön. The ability for teachers to reflect on how the lesson panned out and their skill to change it for the learners so the learners learn more and more effectively. In my own teaching I have used Gibbs (1988) and Kolb’s (1984) learning cycle. Although both cycles are based on findings from Dewey and Piaget, both are centred on the idea that learning comes from a sequence of events. Kolb’s sequences are:

  • Concrete Experience – Delivery of lesson
  • Reflections – How did it go?
  • Abstractions conceptualisations –  Looks at ways to improve the lesson
  • Active experimentation – Delivery of new lesson

Kolb's Learning Cycle

http://academic.regis.edu/ed202/subsequent/kolb2.htm {Retrieved on November 11th 2013}

There is no set starting point but you must follow each step in order. This will lead to a new concrete experience and the cycle begins again. The models of learning and reflection are sometimes referred to as ‘iterative’ because of they’re constantly changing and improving cycle of learning.

The basis of all reflection is that you must be prepared to change, otherwise reflection is pointless. All learners are unique and no one lesson will suit all types of learners. We need to be able to adjust, adapt and learn from our experiences in order to give our learners the best possible lesson to allow them to maximise their learning. Ofsted (2004), states that “The most distinctive of these very good teachers is that they’re practice is the result of their very careful reflection. They themselves learn lesson every time they teach, evaluating what they do and using these self-critical evaluations, to adjust what they do next time.”

Although we had 6 weeks of lectures on how to create, construct and access the WordPress site, I felt that no practical sessions until week 6 let the theory side down a little. For me I learn by doing so until my WordPress site was up and running, I couldn’t apply any theory of reflection. In order for me to reflect on what I had learned I needed to put it into practice first. Simply put, I created the site, (concrete experience), reflected on how well it went, (reflective observation), looked at ways I can improve the site such as user accessibility (abstract conceptualisation) and finally, changing the site to see what the new improved site looks like(active experimentation).

On a final note, Dewey (1933) states that “We do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.” (As cited in Beth Fisher-Yoshida, Kathy Dee Geller & Steven A. Schapiro, 2009).  With all the changes to educational surroundings these days, from technology to the different learning environments, reflection is the core to good teaching and learning.  In education, if we do not reflect on our teaching, we run the risk of standing still and becoming non-operational, and just like the dinosaurs will quickly become extinct.

References:

Moon, J. (2006:37). Learning journals, 2nd ed. A handbook for reflective practice and professional development. Routledge: U.S.A

Ofsted (2004:10).  Why colleges succeed. Crown copyright.

Yoshida, F. Beth, Geller, D. Kathy &. Schapiro, A. S (2009:103). Innovations in transformative learning. Space, culture and the arts. Peter Lang Publishing: New York.

Advertisements

Posted on November 11, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

H. insapiens

Homo sapiens vel insapiens ?

Technology in Education

Empowering Learners

gracebook

My online diary for the M.Sc

Practical Study Skills

Helping you study better

Technology and Learning C Regan

Reflections on technology and learning

Mooted Learning

Technology & Learning

elearning4at

The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!

Cecilia Explores

Looking for Cool Stuff In Technology to Take Learning to a New Level

Oh! so easy 2 learn!

This blog is about learning in 21st century

Máirtín Ó Dúlain

MSc Technology and Learning Blog

%d bloggers like this: